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How We Work 

In addition to the Prepared SCU plan, other key resources for working on campus include the following:

Summer 2021 Campus Access Registration 

Click the link to register.  All employees, student workers and core contractors on campus at least one day a week this summer are to complete this registration.   

  • For the summer period, defined as June 15 to August 14, 2021, personnel (employees, student workers and core contractors) approved for return by their unit will self-register allowing SCU to know the building(s) they will occupy when on campus.  This information is necessary to comply with State contact tracing and exposure notification requirements as well as for tracking COVID-19 testing compliance.  
  • Each person will complete this survey individually and an email copy of their response will be sent to the Manager/Supervisor they designate in the survey.  

 University Operations and Campus Building Updates:

  • Based on CDC, State and County guidelines and SCU's return to campus strategy, University Operations has outlined this plan to support the reopening of campus buildings.  Click the document to see the University Operations plan.

COVID-19 Protocol Update 6-30-21

  • In alignment with county and state guidance, all COVID-19 restrictions, (e.g., occupancy, physical distancing), are lifted with one exception.  Masks are required indoors for individuals who are not fully vaccinated. While masks are optional indoors for those who are vaccinated, individuals should consider their own circumstances and continue to wear masks indoors if they choose
  • Campus signage is being updated to reflect these changes
  • As county or state guidance changes, we will update the community. 

State and county public health orders require us to comply with their provisions to slow the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate the impact on the delivery of critical healthcare services. SCU has aligned the Prepared SCU: How We Work plan with these requirements as well as those from Centers for Disease Control (CDC), California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) and other recognized authorities. SCU reserves the right to maintain more restrictive provisions than Santa Clara County.

We should plan and be prepared for the possibility that additional public health orders could be enacted at any time should the pandemic worsen. Everyone should be prepared for this potential disruption and a return to further shelter-in-place restrictions.

SCU’s work environment is varied and each of us needs to do our part in protecting each other. Supervisors will be asked to lead the implementation of this plan within their respective work areas but all employees play a role in the safe resumption of campus activities. Our personal behaviors play a major role in mitigating the spread of it as we return to campus.

 In addition to practicing these behaviors, the return-to-campus environment will include strategies aimed at reducing transmission among our community and promoting a safer workplace. These include:

  • Identifying where and how employees might be exposed to COVID-19 within our diverse work environment
  • Implementing COVID-19 Testing onsite
  • Using quarantine or isolation practices 
  • Implementing flexible sick leave and associated policies and practices
  • Using signs and postings at campus, building, and local area entrances to communicate COVID-19 protection protocols
  • Planning for possible business interruption due to changes in state and public health orders
  • Providing resources that support mental health, professional development, and other guidance to return to campus
  • Educating employees on SCU’s COVID-19 protection protocols

All SCU employees are expected to comply with the elements outlined in this Prepared SCU: How We Work plan. As public health guidance and requirements change, we will continually update our Prepared SCU: How We Work plan to ensure supervisors and employees have the information and resources to adjust accordingly.

Per state and Santa Clara County public health directives and CalOSHA, all faculty, staff and student workers are required to be trained on the Prepared SCU: How We Work plan. SCU has provided How We Work educational materials for the campus. Topics all employees are required to be educated on include: information on COVID-19 and how to prevent its spread, testing and contact tracing, vaccination, quarantine and isolation, self-screening and symptom checking, the use of face coverings, hand washing, cleaning and disinfection, etc.

By completing the How We Work Training,  faculty, staff and student workers are acknowledging they will abide by the Prepared SCU: How We Work plan protocols. Failure to comply with campus COVID-19 protection protocols could result in disciplinary action.

SCU Facilities implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols (using EPA approved products for COVID-19) when the pandemic began and will continue to do so for its duration.

It is not possible, however, for SCU Facilities to clean and disinfect all areas immediately after occupancy; therefore all employees play a role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 by wearing face coverings, washing hands frequently, and following proper cough and sneeze hygiene. To supplement the enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols conducted by Facilities, employees will be expected to frequently disinfect work and break areas throughout the day using supplies provided by Facilities.

Departments may choose cleaning supplies for their personal work areas, in addition to the disinfecting materials provided by Facilities, but they should ensure they are approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19 and they should seek SCU EHS Department approval by contacting Sean Collins at

Frequent local cleaning efforts in the work area should be conducted post-use on high-touch contact surfaces such as door knobs, light switches, copiers, keyboards, mice, staplers, reception surfaces, meeting room tables, break room appliances and tables, etc. Employees should clean their workstations frequently and between each shift if using shared workstations.

Buildings in which a confirmed case of COVID-19 has been identified will be closed for thorough cleaning and disinfection by Facilities which may take multiple days. In general, areas that have been unoccupied for one week or more (7 days) do not require disinfection and enhanced cleaning alone is sufficient. These unplanned building closures will cause business interruption. All departments should prepare for the possibility of temporary building closures and prepare for this potential disruption.

Return to Campus Summer and Fall 2021:  Meetings can be conducted remotely even when on campus, but this is not required. Zoom or other technology can continue be used whenever practical and reasonable. It is likely that some colleagues will continue working a varied schedule, on campus and at home, so please take this into consideration during your meeting plans.

When in-person meetings are necessary please be considerate of others and allow for any preferences.  Masks are required for unvaccinated personnel indoors. Updates to all of these requirements are always on Prepared SCU.

July 1, 2021

Hosts of guests, contractors, and vendors are responsible for ensuring they are aware of, and adhere to, our COVID-19 protection protocols. 

  • Masks are optional when indoors for fully vaccinated individuals (faculty, staff, students, contractors, visitors, guests). 
  • All unvaccinated individuals are required to wear masks indoors per CA regulation.
  • Hosts of visitors, guests and contractors should make them aware of this requirement.

Supervisors should ensure a process is established for accommodating non-SCU personnel into their areas.


Campus entrance, building entrance, and local area signs and postings are an important component of educating people about SCU's COVID-19 protection protocols. Adhere to all posted requirements in any given area. SCU will provide supervisors and/or unit heads with various signage templates they can use in their respective work areas as well.

Persons entering the workplace are to pre-screen for COVID-19 symptoms. It is preferred that employees perform their symptom screen prior to coming to campus rather than upon arrival to campus. The requirement for checking symptoms prior to coming on campus applies to guests, contractors, and vendors as well. 

Check these symptoms: 

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher)
  • New loss of taste or smell 

If you experience COVID-19 symptoms notify your supervisor and remain home. If you are already on campus, please go home and do not return to campus until symptoms have subsided.

If you test positive for COVID-19 you must remain at home and self-isolate. Contact your supervisor and HR ( and call 408-554-5100 to report the positive case Contact tracing will be implemented by SCU’s CICT Team. 


  • If you Test Positive for COVID-19, you must remain home and self-isolate.


      • Notify your supervisor and report any off campus provider positive test results to 408-554-5100 immediately. A positive test must be reported immediately, regardless of if you were on campus within 48 hours or not.
      • Contact Tracing will be implemented by SCU CICT and/or the local public health department.


  • Returning to Campus after Testing Positive


    • If you had symptoms, you are allowed to return to campus after:
      • 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
      • 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
      • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving
    • If you did not have symptoms, you are allowed to return to campus after:
      • 10 days since the date you were tested, as long as no symptoms develop during those 10 days
        • If symptoms do develop, follow the guidance in the previous section 
    • Note that a negative test is NOT required to return to campus after completing isolation due to your positive test result.

If you have had close contact with a person known to have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, per Santa Clara County public health directive, you must be tested.

Notify your supervisor and HR ( 

  • SCU's Case Investigation and Contract Tracing team (CICT) also considers anyone who spends 90 cumulative minutes over the course of a day in the same indoor space as a positive person to be a close contact. This could be 90 minutes straight or several shorter periods of time throughout the day that add up to 90 minutes. People identified as a close contact using this definition will be contacted by SCU's CICT team and provided appropriate guidance.  
  • Regardless of the test result, you must quarantine at home for 10 days since the exposure, based on the time it takes to develop illness. 
  • Monitor your symptoms, and contact your physician if symptoms present. 
    • If you test positive, follow the guidance provided by the CICT Tracing team.
    • If you test negative, you must still quarantine because the virus may not present immediately.
  • If you continue to be in close contact with someone who is Covid-19 positive while they are in isolation,   you will need to extend your quarantine until 10 days from the day the positive person finishes isolating. This may last about 20 days. 

Supervisors and/or unit heads should prepare for the potential workforce interruptions that may result from quarantine and isolation of their employees.

Face coverings are intended to prevent the spread of large droplets that are expelled when we breathe, talk, sneeze, or cough. When you cough or sneeze, even with a mask on, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or cough/sneeze into the inside of your elbow. Wash your hands immediately with soap and water or hand sanitizer.


Personal Protective Equipment and Hygiene

COVID-19 is primarily spread from person to person, through respiratory droplets generated from breathing, talking, coughing and sneezing, and people can transmit the virus when they are symptom-free, face coverings are effective at reducing transmission from respiratory droplets.  Face coverings are required indoors on campus for unvaccinated personnel, guests and students and are optional for vaccinated personnel.

If you are an employee and want to request an N95 filtering facepiece respirator, SCU EHS will provide one at your request. Please contact

If an employee is unable to wear a face covering and is required to do so because they are unvaccinated and have a pre-existing medical condition (certified by a medical professional), employees and supervisors should contact Indu Ahluwalia at to request an accommodation.

Guidelines for wearing face coverings include:

  • Using a good quality, two layered mask. Improved mask types have become available which protect you and others.
  • Ensuring it fits over the nose and under the chin (to cover the mouth)
  • Storing your mask in a clean area when not in use
  • Cleaning the mask regularly

Frequent hand washing is an important protective measure against illnesses. Washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the preferred method of hand cleaning. Wash your hands frequently throughout the day—when you arrive to work, before you leave work, before and after eating, after coughing or sneezing, etc.

If you do not have access to soap and water, the use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is an acceptable alternative. Hand sanitizers should contain at least 60% alcohol to be effective. SCU has positioned hand-sanitizing stations throughout our more heavily trafficked areas and employees are encouraged to carry their own hand sanitizer with them for use during the day.


Human Resources

As SCU continues to monitor this pandemic, employment guidelines may be temporarily modified to address business needs and to promote the health and safety of the campus community. Please consult with your supervisor and/or HR Partner if you have specific questions.

The return-to-campus strategy continues over the Summer and Fall 2021.  COVID-19 vaccinations for educators, (i.e. faculty, staff and student campus employees) were authorized in February 2021. SCU strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccination. Supervisors and/or unit heads should not plan to re-populate their respective work areas on campus until they have been notified to do so by their respective dean or member of the President’s Cabinet.

Each department of the University establishes the normal work days and work shifts for their positions based on business needs. Supervisors and/or unit heads are expected to be flexible and creative in scheduling the workday during this time to promote less frequent person-to-person interactions while being sensitive to their employee’s personal situations.

Employees who have been approved to work remotely may borrow their existing SCU ergonomic office equipment to assist with remote work, with approval from their supervisor before removing it. Examples could include chairs, computer monitors, ergonomic keyboards and mice, headsets, and monitor risers, etc. Employees must return all equipment to their campus work location when their remote work arrangement ends. Coordination of campus visits to remove office equipment should occur between employees and their supervisors. This is usually done in a “grab and go” process. To retrieve items from campus,  COVID-19 testing is not required for this brief grab and go, follow all on site protocols, and only grab and go. Do not stay on campus for other conversations, meetings or lunch.

Questions regarding home office ergonomic issues can also be addressed to Sean Collins in the EHS Department at

Employees who are at higher risk (certified by a medical professional) for severe illness from COVID-19 or who require accommodations which may affect their ability to work on campus, may have questions/concerns about returning. Supervisors and/or unit heads are expected to work with their employees and HR to address these cases. Please contact Indu Ahluwalia at for more information.

If an employee is unable to work because they are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), the employee can file a Paid Family Leave claim form. Please contact Indu Ahluwalia at

If an employee is unable to work due to having COVID-19 or being exposed to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), the employee may be eligible to receive short-term disability benefits. Please contact Indu Ahluwalia at for more information on short-term disability benefits.

SCU HR will provide additional information shortly that has additional guidance for staff and supervisors.

We acknowledge the magnitude of change everyone is dealing with as we navigate these uncertain times. For support and information, please visit the Tips for Managing Remote Workers. Supervisors may also contact their HR Partner for consultation.

Supervisors and/or unit heads play a lead role in ensuring the Prepared SCU: How We Work plan practices and procedures are implemented in their respective areas. SCU will provide guidance and resources to assist supervisors and/or unit heads with implementing COVID-19 protection protocols in their respective work area.

It is possible that even as we plan to return to campus for the Fall of 2021, the pandemic could worsen again to the extent that additional shelter-in-place orders are enacted by federal, state or county authorities or SCU. Supervisors should plan for this possibility and the interruption to business operations resulting from this, as well as the possibility of extended employee absences due to illness or quarantine.

There are several SCU COVID-19 FAQ websites intended to provide updates and information to the community. These do not replace the individual support you can receive from SCU’s Department of Human Resources. Should you have specific questions or concerns regarding employment, benefits, leaves, or other available resources please do not hesitate to contact your HR Partner for assistance.

The Department of Human Resources is committed to providing assistance and resources to our valued employees. To that end, we have collected a wealth of information and resources to assist our employees during these challenging times. We will continue to monitor the situation and related resources and update the COVID-19 HR Resources site frequently.

These resources have been collected from various sources including our benefits vendors, other higher education institutions, the HR community and our own SCU colleagues. These sources are meant to provide helpful information, resources, and tips to support us all through these uncertain times.

Should you need technology support while working remotely, resources can be found here or you may contact the IT Help Desk at (408) 554-5700 for assistance.



The information provided is based on current information regarding best practices, guidance and requirements from federal, state and local health agencies and other recognized authorities.